Industry impressed with Northern Ireland’s media academy talent

The Award Winners

Back from left, Dr Sarah Edge, Kevin Jackson, BBC NI, Dean Crumlish, Richard Williams, chief executive Northern Ireland Screen, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Alastair Adair.
Front from left, Laura McKay, Gesha Zhu, Aisling Healy, and Patrick Cassidy.

The Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy has honoured the best work of its students at a gala ceremony at the Ulster Media Show ’09.

Patrick Cassidy, Creggan, Derry city, a North West Regional College student, won the Best Drama and shared with Aisling Healy the Best Further Education award.

University of Ulster students Dean Crumlish, from Buncrana, Co Donegal won the Best Documentary Project category and Laura McKay from Randalstown, Co Antrim picked up the award for Best Rich Content.

University of Ulster’s Gesha Zhu from China won the Best Postgraduate award.

The top accolades in five categories were fought over from students at Skillset approved courses at the University of Ulster, Belfast Metropolitan College, North West Regional College in Derry, and Southern Regional College in Newry.

These are partners in the Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy, one of only 19 industry licensed educational partnership in the UK aimed at bringing creative media skills to international standards.

Show director Colm Murphy said: “The senior executives from BBC NI and UTV who judged the awards were very impressed with the talent. UTV and Belfast Telegraph online hope to screen some of the work.

“For the first time too the shortlisted work is available online at, so the emerging talent can be seen internationally which is critical in attracting film and television work to Northern Ireland.”

The event, which took place at the Belfast campus of University of Ulster on Friday 5 June, was sponsored, by the University’s Cultural Development Scheme and the awards by Northern Ireland Screen.

The awards were announced by Kevin Jackson of BBC NI and were presented by Northern Ireland Screen chief executive Richard Williams. University of Ulster Pro-Vice Chancellor Alastair Adair, who introduced the show, congratulated all those shortlisted.